hydrocortisone valerate, Westcort

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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GENERIC NAME: hydrocortisone valerate

BRAND NAME: Westcort

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydrocortisone valerate is a synthetic (man-made) corticosteroid that is used on the skin (topically). The naturally-occurring corticosteroid is cortisol or hydrocortisone produced by the adrenal gland. Corticosteroids have potent anti-inflammatory actions and also suppress the immune response. The FDA approved hydrocortisone valerate in March 1978.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Hydrocortisone valerate is used for the relief of itching and inflammation caused by a wide variety of skin conditions (for example, insect bites, allergic reactions and eczema).

SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of hydrocortisone valerate are:

  • burning,
  • itching,
  • irritation, and
  • dryness at application sites.

Side effects are more frequent when occlusive dressings or large quantities are applied. Applying corticosteroids to infected skin may worsen the infection. Long-term use may lead to atrophy of the skin and pigmentation changes. Prolonged use of hydrocortisone can depress the ability of the body's adrenal glands to produce corticosteroids. Abruptly stopping hydrocortisone in these individuals can cause symptoms of corticosteroid insufficiency, along with:

Hydrocortisone valerate has produced mild, reversible suppression of corticosteroids in adult patients when administered for 5 days and the area was covered (occluded); when 15 grams was applied twice a day to over 25% to 60% body surface area; or when applied three times a day to over 20% to 30% body surface area for 3-4 weeks.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2015

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